copyright © A.L. Mol  2004
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There are many festivals and events in British Columbia with a wildlife or nature focus. The following list is being continually updated as information is provided.

Do you have an event that should be included in this list of viewing festivals and special events? If so, send detailed information, including a contact phone number for the event/festival coordinator.

Blackbirds on a Line

2004 Events - Dates have been added for the 2004 events. All other events listed are expected to occur, even if the dates have yet to be determined. If you can provide some current information on one or more of these events, please e-mail.

This web site also contains web links to other Canadian festivals, festivals in the United States and international festivals.

DATE COMMUNITY EVENT REGION
March 13 to 21
event & date confirmed
Ucluelet, Tofino Pacific Rim Whale Festival Vancouver Island (1)
April 2 to 4
event & date confirmed
Parksville & Qualicum Beach Brant Wildlife Festival Vancouver Island (1)
April 25
event & date confirmed
Maple Ridge Goodbye Chums! Lower Mainland (2)
May 2
event & date confirmed
Surrey Salmon Send-Off Lower Mainland (2)
May 2
event & date confirmed
Ruby Lake Wood Duck Wilderness Festival Lower Mainland (2)
May 3 to 9
event & date confirmed
Invermere & Radium Hot Springs Wings Over the Rockies Bird Festival Kootenay (4)
May 14 to 16
event & date confirmed
Golden Golden Wildlife Festival of Birds and Bears Kootenay (4)
May 20 to 24
event & date confirmed
Penticton Meadowlark Festival Okanagan (8)
May Port Moody Fingerling Festival Lower Mainland (2)
May Burnaby The Great Salmon Send-Off Lower Mainland (2)
June Bowen Island Coho Bon Voyage Lower Mainland (2)
June 18 to 20
event & date confirmed
Creston Creston Valley Osprey Festival Kootenay (4)
July
next event in 2005
North Vancouver Return of the Osprey Festival Lower Mainland (2)
late August to early September
next event in 2005
Horsefly Horsefly River Salmon Festival Cariboo (5)
October
Maple Ridge Return of the Salmon Lower Mainland (2)
October Port Coquitlam Hyde Creek Salmon Festival Lower Mainland (2)
October Coquitlam Salmon Come Home Lower Mainland (2)
October Chase Salute to the Sockeye Thompson-Nicola (3)
mid/late October - early December Victoria Goldstream Salmon Run Vancouver Island (1)
November Surrey Salmon Homecoming Festival Lower Mainland (2)

Blackbirds on a Line

For additional information on birding festivals visit one of the following sources.

  •    American Birding Association - Birding Festivals in North America
  •    Bird Watcher's Digest - Birding Festivals in North America
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       Pacific Rim Whale Festival

    Date: March 13 to 21   event & date confirmed

    Join in the annual celebration of the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale. Each spring the entire North American population of Pacific Gray Whales migrates along the West Coast of Vancouver Island. An estimated 20,000 Gray Whales make the 16,000 km round-trip journey between their mating and calving lagoons on the Mexican Baja Peninsula and their summer feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas near the Arctic.

    For more information contact:

    home page

    Pacific Rim Whale Festival

    phone: (250) 726-4641 (Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce)
    phone: (250) 725-3414 (Tofino Chamber of Commerce)
    e-mail

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       Brant Wildlife Festival

    Dates: April 2 to 4   event & date confirmed

    The arrival of over 20,000 Brant Geese in Parksville and Qualicum Beach marks the occasion for the 13th Annual Brant Wildlife Festival. The festival focuses on the abundance and diversity of the natural world around us, from shoreline and river estuary to forest and mountain meadow. Our purpose is to assist with the preservation, enhancement and management of wildlife and their habitats in the mid-island area, through education and awareness provided by festival events. These events include art, photography and wood carving exhibitions, a speaker's series, family events, Big Day Birding Challenge and more.

    For more information contact:

    home page

    Brant Wildlife Festival Office
    174 Railway Street, Qualicum Beach, B.C. Canada V9K 1K7
    phone: (250) 752-9171
    fax: (250) 752-9883
    e-mail

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       Goodbye Chums!

    Date: April 25 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)   event & date confirmed

    The annual Bon Voyage party as participants send thousands of Chum Salmon fry on a journey to the sea. Discover the challenges these young salmon face in the weeks ahead, and test your survival chances in salmon games. In 2003, this event will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Bell-Irving Hatchery. Tour the Bell-Irving Hatchery, enjoy crafts, a puppet show and displays. Learn how you can keep streams healthy. All activities at the hatchery located in Kanaka Creek Regional Park on 256th Street, south of Dewdney Trunk Road.

    For more information contact:

    Greater Vancouver Regional District Parks
    4330 Kingsway, Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5H 4G8
    phone: (604) 530-4983 or (604) 432-4350
    fax: (604) 530-5251 or (604) 432-6296

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       Fingerling Festival

    Date: May

    Your help is needed to release 35,000 Chum Salmon fry into Noons Creek! There will be lots of interesting and interactive displays at the Noons Creek Hatchery and in the Port Moody Ice Arena (300 Icoco Road). This is fun for "children" of all ages.

    For more information contact:

    Port Moody Ecological Society
    c/o 300 Ioco Road, Port Moody, B.C. Canada V3H 2V7
    phone: (604) 469-9106
    fax: (604) 469-9106
    e-mail

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       Salmon Send-Off

    Date: May 2 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)   event & date confirmed

    For fishy fun, release salmon fry into the Serpentine River, enjoy a hatchery tour, children's activities and a short fish habitat walk. All activities at the hatchery located in Tynehead Regional Park on 96th Avenue between 160th and 168th Streets. This event is co-sponsored with the Serpentine Enhancement Society.

    For more information contact:

    Greater Vancouver Regional District Parks
    4330 Kingsway, Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5H 4G8
    phone: (604) 520-6442 or (604) 432-4350
    fax: (604) 520-3520 or (604) 432-6296

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       Wood Duck Wilderness Festival

    Dates: May 2 (11 a.m. to sunset)   event & date confirmed

    For more information contact:

    home page

    Wood Duck Wilderness Festival
    c/o Ruby Lake Resort
    Site 20, Comp. 25, R.R. #1, Madeira Park, B.C. Canada V0N 2H0
    phone: (604) 883-9991
    fax: (604) 883-3602
    e-mail

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       Wings Over the Rockies Bird Festival

    Dates: May 3 to 9   event & date confirmed

    Renew your spirit of wonder over our natural heritage - come home to one of the longest systems of continuous wetlands in North America. Over 265 species of birds have been recorded in a 150 km stretch of the Columbia Valley Wetlands from Canal Flats to Spillimacheen. Flanked by grasslands, forest, alpine meadows and rocky crags this "Serengeti of the North" supports abundant wildlife and provides spectacular vistas for the sixth annual festival.

    Choose from over 80, high quality, creative and educational events to enjoy with your family. Discover the world of birds through activities such as guided nature walks, Columbia River floats, voyager canoe trips, horseback riding in the grasslands, art exhibits, evening presentations, live music, workshops, children's festival, wings gala banquet, birdathon and much more!

    For more information contact:

    home page

    Wings Over the Rockies Bird Festival
    RR#4, #2-1535-14th Street, Invermere, BC Canada V0A 1K4
    phone: (888) 933-3311 or (250) 347-2207
    e-mail

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       Golden Wildlife Festival of Birds and Bears

    Dates: May 14 to 16   event & date confirmed

    This annual wildlife festival celebrates the beginning of spring migration and the end of winter hibernation, with an emphasis on the areas most famous wildlife - birds and bears. The festival features birding and wildlife watching excursions in the Columbia Valley Wetlands and surrounding environs as well as family oriented evening presentations. Over 250 species of birds have been recorded in the general area.

    For more information contact:

    home page

    Golden Festival of Birds and Bears
    Box 1320, Golden, B.C. Canada V0A 1H0
    phone: (250) 344-5901 (8:30 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday) or (800) 622-GOLD (4653)
    e-mail

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       Meadowlark Festival

    Dates: May 20 to 24   event & date confirmed

    Celebrate spring by experiencing the unique landscapes of the south Okanagan and lower Similkameen Valleys during the second annual festival. Events range from lively slide shows and discussions on nature and conservation topics, to canoe trips, horseback riding, photography workshops, and a wide variety of birds and wildflower explorations. In the evenings discover rare and spectacular flying mammals, experience an owl prowl or explore the wonders of the night time sky. Enter the photography competition, or partake in the 19th annual Okanagan Big Day Challenge (2004), a friendly event to see what team can see and hear the most number of bird species in one day - midnight to midnight. The Little Big Day Challenge goes from 4 a.m. to noon.

    For more information contact:

    home page

    Meadowlark Festival
    Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance
    P.O. Box 20133, Penticton, B.C. Canada V2A 8K3
    phone: (250) 492-LARK (5275)
    e-mail

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       The Great Salmon Send-Off

    Date: May

    A celebration of our magnificant Pacific salmon. This community event has been making a splash since 1990. Enjoy the refreshments, see the displays and experience the thrill of releasing salmon onto a natural stream.

    For more information contact:

    Stoney Creek Environmental Committee
    2625 Noel Drive, Burnaby, B.C. Canada V3J 1J2
    phone: (604) 420-9132
    fax: (604) 420-9105

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       Coho Bon Voyage

    Date: June

    A special event held at Terminal Creek Hatchery in Crippen Regional Park on Bowen Island. Walk on the 10:05 a.m. or 11:05 a.m. ferry from Horseshoe Bay. Upon arrival enjoy a half hour walk on clearly marked trails to the hatchery. Release some coho fry into Terminal Creek and tour a working salmon hatchery. Explore Crippen Regional Park and then return home on an afternoon ferry. The hatchery is wheelchair accessible. Bikes are welcome. This event is sponsored by the Bowen Island Fish and Wildlife Club.

    For more information contact:

    ferry information

    Bowen Island Fish and Wildlife Club
    P.O. Box 51, Bowen Island, B.C. V0N 1G0
    phone: (604) 947-0309
    e-mail

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       Creston Valley Osprey Festival

    Dates: June 18 to 20   event & date confirmed

    This weekend festival, celebrating Ospreys, Tads, Dads and Ducks on Father's Day Weekend, is a family event featuring "Like a duck to water" exhibition from the Nature Museum in Sherbrooke (Quebec), birding van tours, bike tours, canoe tours, bird-a-thon, workshops, games, dinner event and more.

    The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area is located about 11 km west of Creston in the beautiful Kootenays of southeast British Columbia. This annual festival is your opportunity to celebrate and experience Canada's densest Osprey population. In 1998 there were 58 breeding pairs in the management area's 6882 ha (17,000 ac) of wetlands. In addition to Osprey over 265 bird species have been recorded in the area.

    For more information contact:

    home page

    Creston Valley Osprey Festival
    Box 640, Creston, B.C. Canada V0B 1G0
    phone: (250) 402-6900
    fax: (250) 402-6910
    e-mail

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       Return of the Osprey Festival

    Dates: July    next event in 2005

    A one-day, biannual event held at Maplewood Flats, a conservation area on Burrard Inlet located in North Vancouver. It is organized by WBT Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia. While the main focus of this event is the return of nesting Osprey to the area, there are many birds to be seen. Binoculars and spotting scopes are available for use on site. There are many special displays, and nature walks are offered.

    For more information contact:

    WBT Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia
    #124 - 1489 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, B.C. Canada V7T 1B8
    phone: (604) 924-2581
    e-mail

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       Horsefly River Salmon Festival

    Date: late August to early September   next event in 2005

    Every four years (2001, 2005, . . . ), Sockeye Salmon return in peak numbers to the quiet banks of the Horsefly River, 760 km upstream from the mouth of the Fraser River. The Horsefly River turns crimson as millions of Sockeye return from a life's journey that took them far out into the ocean pour into their home waters to spawn and die. Sockeye return to the Horsefly River every year to play out this spectacular continuance of life, but it is only every four years that the River bleeds.

    There will be displays and activities for all ages to enjoy and learn from. In addition, the Horsefly watershed is a wonderful place to view fish and wildlife in their natural setting. Plan to spend a couple of days along the Horsefly to enjoy all the area has to offer.

    In 2002, school program will be run the week of September 9 to 13.

    For more information contact:

    home page

    Horsefly Community Development Centre
    Box 37, Horsefly, B.C. Canada V0L 1L0
    phone: (250) 620-3307
    fax:
    e-mail

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       Return of the Salmon

    Dates: October

    Celebrate the return of wild Chum and Coho Salmon into the Kanaka River in Maple Ridge. Held at the fish fence on 240th Street, located between the Lougheed Highway and Dewdney Trunk Road, this event runs rain or shine. Get a cloe-up look at returning salmon and participate in many activities.

    For more information contact:

    East Area Office, Greater Vancouver Regional District Parks
    1558 - 200th Street, Langley, B.C. V2Z 1W5
    phone: (604) 530-4983
    fax: (604) 530-5251

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       Salmon Come Home

    Date: October

    A community event to celebrate the return of salmon to Hoy and Scott Creeks. Visit with representatives of many local organizations and agencies, as well as walk the trail along the the creek to view spawning salmon. A great family event.

    For more information contact:

    Hoy/Scott Creek Streamkeepers
    c/o #123 - 2960 Princess Crescent, Coquitlam, B.C. Canada V3B 7P2
    phone: (604) 945-6732
    fax: (604) 927-6908

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       Hyde Creek Salmon Festival

    Date: October

    Celebrating the return of salmon to Hyde Creek in Port Coquitlam.

    For more information contact:



    phone:
    fax:

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       Salute to the Sockeye

    Dates: October

    Salute to the salmon is held along the Adams River in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park near Chase. Sockeye Salmon return here every year but the migration that occurs every 4th year dwarfs the others. For example, in 1990 an estimated 2.6 million sockeye returned to the Adams River to spawn.

    For more information contact:

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Communications Branch
    Suite 750 - 555 West Hastings Street, B.C. V6B 5G3
    phone: (604) 666-7013
    e-mail

    or

    BC Parks, Thompson River District
    1210 McGill Road, Kamloops, B.C. V2C 6N6
    phone: (250) 851-3014
    e-mail

    or

    Adams River Salmon Society
    P.O. Box 1563, Chase, B.C. V0E 1M0
    phone: (250) 679-5397
    e-mail

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       Goldstream Salmon Run

    Dates: mid/late October to early December

    From about the middle of October to late December an estimated 20,000 salmon enter the waters of Goldstream River to spawn. Most of these are Chum Salmon, with small numbers of Coho and Chinook Salmon. A trail along the river makes viewing the spawning salmon easy. In addition to weekday school programs, special talks and game activities are scheduled for the weekends.

    For more information contact:

    Freeman King Visitor Centre, Goldstream Provincial Park
    2930 Trans Canada Highway, Victoria, B.C. Canada V9E 1K3
    phone: (250) 478-9414 or (250) 391-2300
    fax: (250) 478-9211
    e-mail

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       Salmon Homecoming Festival

    Date: November

    A Wild Salmon Party! Come welcome the salmon home at this 6th annual celebration at Surrey's Bear Creek Park (King George Highway and 88 Avenue). This is an afternoon of fun and education for everyone, and it is free. There will be puppet shows, live music, interactive activities, mascots, an area to see spawning salmon, tree planting, salmon stations run by environmental groups from Surrey and much more. The event goes rain or shine - come dressed for the weather and ready to have some fun.

    For more information contact:

    Surrey Parks Environmental Programs, City of Surrey
    14645 - 66th Avenue, Surrey, B.C. Canada V3S 5M2
    phone: (604) 501-5121
    fax: (604) 501-5175
    e-mail